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The Journal Editorial Report

News/Business. Paul Gigot discusses news, politics, society and finance. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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00:31:00

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Us 7, Syria 6, Washington 5, Pakistan 4, Freddie Mac 4, Yemen 3, Joe Rago 2, Fannie Mae 2, Benghazi 2, Asia 2, Paul Gigot 2, Jeff Bezos 2, North Africa 2, Afghanistan 1, U.s. 1, Africa 1, Mali 1, Detroit 1, New York 1, Hollywood 1,
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  FOX News    The Journal Editorial Report    News/Business. Paul Gigot discusses news,  
   politics, society and finance. New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    August 11, 2013
    12:00 - 12:31pm PDT  

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>> paul: this week on the journal editorial report. global terror alert shuts embassies across the arab world. a look how al-qaeda made a comeback. it's a story that nobody in washington wants to talk about. how the white house is helping them weasel out of obamacare the government says it's time to get out of mortgage business, six years after the housing bubble burst. is it a step in the right direction? >> paul: welcome to the "journal editorial report". i'm paul gigot. 19 embassies in the middle east and africa were shuttered in a global travel
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alert issued after communications among senior al-qaeda operatives intercepted indicating plans for a major attack were underway and calling into the question in the narrative the group is on the run. columnist brett stephens and matt cominski join me with more. on friday the u.s. closed the consulate in pakistan which i've been to which is the safest part of pakistan. are we watching the comeback of al-qaeda? >> we have been watching it for a month but now we have noticed. this last week is one, the al-qaeda core, central pakistan led by ayman al-zawahri and he is active. number two, we have seen that the al-qaeda affiliates, after al-qaeda in pakistan
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they moved to yemen and moved to north africa and moved to syria. but syria and yemen has been the most dangerous one. >> paul: this is the source? >> exactly. he named this afal yacht as number two that prompted the alert over the week. >> paul: what makes them dangerous. a lot of people say don't worry about this, these are local franchises. they are really not threatening us. they are preoccupied with the governments of their countries. that is all. we don't need to be as concerned as we do with the al-qaeda core? >> we need to be preoccupied with the sophistication and reach and ambition. that is what we've been seen. affiliate in yemen was trying to bomb western jet liners oh over detroit several years ago. so this has been going on for some time. al-qaeda in north africa tried to take over mali and would have succeeded had it not been for french
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intervention. >> paul: is mali really a threat to us? >> you could have made the same argument as afghanistan, a remote middle country in the middle of asia but it's a threat that it provides a secure base that al-qaeda can plan and plot. that is the issue. now, the biggest threat increasingly is syria where we have literally thousands of fighters affiliated with a front and other al-qaeda ideologically linked groups that are gaining strength. they are gaining expertise. they are gaining and creating sanctuaries. >> paul: and presumably hard to penetrate? >> they are importing jihadis from europe and going to perpetrate things. >> paul: we were told the syria isn't our fight, it's
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irrelevant to our security. it's over there, it's the middle east. we need to withdraw from the middle east and pivoted to asia because we have been stirring the hornets nest there? >> we are told what happens in syria stays in syria but it's moved into iro destabilize the government. >> paul: there is an al-qaeda cell. >> hundred prisoners escaped last week. us a pointed out one day it will hurt us. we are paying the price for not doing anything. >> paul: iraq was defeated in 2008. it's gaining strength because we are not there. what about the argument that this global alert about embassy says an overreaction. this is political response to the criticism the president got about the
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disaster when americans were killed in benghazi and this is really not as threatening as they say. this is mostly just frankly political self-protection? >> overreacting to terrorist threats is always the right thing to do. imagine if we had another consulate destroyed as the embassies in tanzania and kenya were destroyed in 1998. hundreds of dead. people would be demanding to know why we didn't take the next precautions to make sure especially if we felt we had intelligence that could have prevented this. so the idea we are overreacting to terrorism is an idea that seems persuasive. >> paul: do you credit the obama administration with doing the right thing here? >> we don't know what fully happens. there was a meeting of 20 senior al-qaeda leaders by some sort of chat last week.
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but what they were responding to or provoke on. >> paul: we give them the benefit of the doubt? >> that is the role of the president in times of war. >> the president spent all year doing victory laps around al-qaeda, he said poor al-qaeda was on the way to defeat. we could resend the authorization for the use of military force. that we could treat al-qaeda as essentially as a nuisance threat. very quickly in the ten weeks since he gave that speech calling for an end on the war on terror, al-qaeda continues to have the ability to act globally. >> paul: there is a disconnected that seems to be going on in the world where we have the alarms and drones in yemen and then at home, we're debating whether we want to have surveillance anymore. >> it's on both sides.
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president obama has not fully defended his own policies. >> paul: how do you explain the disconnect? >> people are tired of this war. it's been 12 years in the making. people think it would be great to wind it down. >> paul: cold war went on for 40 years and we didn't say oh, well, let's give up. >> look at the history of the cold war, became exhausted with it. they saw detente -- its built of the same story. unless you have a visible look at the threat, you will want to wind it down. >> paul: a story that nobody in washington wants you to know about it. how white house is engineering an obamacare bailout to members of congress. the details are next. it's not a candy bar. 130 calories 7 grams of protein the fiber one
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congress and their staffs from the heavily law they passed for everyone else. this week we learned how they are going to do it with white house releasing legal details behind the obamacare bailout. joe rago and kim strassel are here with more. joe, what is congress and administration up to? >> in 2009 they adopted a rule that said that they would lose their federal healthcare coverage and move into the obamacare exchanges. the idea they would get firsthand experience with what their constituents are going through and play by the same rules. >> paul: then chuck grassley made a bill adopted by democrats and passed but they made a mistake. they didn't decide how to fund that? >> the problem is, the members who make $174,000 a year and some of their
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better compensated aides because they make too much money. they would be exposed to thousands of dollars in new healthcare costs every year. >> paul: because the coverage they currently have is richer, you get $5,000 or n subsidies? >> $10,000 for a family, a lot of choices, very well functioning program. >> paul: it's a very good plan. exchanges, in d.c. there is three options in the federal program. >> paul: so members in the staff we're saying wait a minute we're going to take a pay cut because we going to have to pay for own he'll. how is this working now? >> what they are saying, congress didn't actually kick themselves out of federal program. they are going to remain in the federal program for the
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subsidy and get the healthcare coverage and insurance plan in the exchange. so they created really an illegal funding stream for congress. >> paul: this isn't in the law. they are reinterpreting the law to make it happen? >> what they should do is pass, if this is such a big program for the chiefs of staff and legislative councils, they should give them a pay raise. make up for the lost compensation. >> paul: how do you explain this politically? joe rago has been the only person in washington paying attention to this. joe is in new york, that is probably the reason. but republicans and democrats are ducking and covering. don't put me on letter protesting it. what is going on here? >> the media only is interested in controversies. right now everyone in
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congress agrees this assault right thing to do. it's a real problem especially for republicans. they have been complaining about obamacare and particular about the waivers that the white house has been giving to every entity that comes along. saying everyone should live under the ravages of this law. here they are self-dealing. giving themselves an out and nobody wants to talk about it. not republicans because their own staffs were unhappy about this. they are preferring it would all go away. you have dave camp saying this is wrong. there should be no waivers for us. for the most part republicans have remained silent. it's a big missed opportunity. >> paul: it's an opportunity to define obamacare and problems? they messed up. democrats messed up. they rushed it through so fast. they didn't even know that
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something that hurts them and their staff was in it. so isn't that a metaphor for what the law is going to do for the rest of america? >> that is right. also for republicans to simply stand up and say, look, this is going to be terrible for everyone else. we should have to live under this, too, because that might in fact cause some rethinking whether we should keep the flaw place. >> paul: is there any way to challenge this other than politically in congress? this is unilateral interpretation, executive interpretation that the administration is doing. can anybody do anything to sue? >> i don't think so. this is is a political issue. its good one for republicans, i think. they have had a lot of trouble changing the affordable care act. here is an issue, democrats looking out for number one might be willing to sign on.
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>> paul: to sign on and make other changes in the law, perhaps for a year's delay? >> sure. that is one option. how about helping all the low wage workers that can't find a full-time job because it defines the workweek as 30 hours. they are not getting any unilateral fix out of the white house. let's make this universal. >> paul: any beeping out of the republicans when they come back? >> there are a few that are out there but most of them have saying this is happy what is given to their staff. >> paul: when we come back. could it be president obama calls for a smaller role for the federal government and you the taxpayer in the mortgage market. is it a step in the right direction? [ kitchen counselor ] introducing cascade platinum.
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private capital should take a bigger role in the mortgage market. i know it sounds confusing for people that call me a socialist. i think i saw some posters on the way. i believe in the free market. i believe our housing system should operate in a limited government role and private lending should be the can backbone of the housing market. >> paul: there is president obama to reform the nation's housing system. speaking in phoenix one hit by hardest by the crash. to bow down fannie mae and freddie mac that should come as welcome news that guarantee 85% of all new mortgages. i'm joined by mary kissel and james freeman.
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so appreciate the irony he recognized it himself? >> any time this president says he wants private investors in investing in mortgages, that is big step in the right direction. i think look. market crashing in 2007, we're in 2013, fannie mae and freddie mac are making money again. this is the time to reform because the longer they make money, the harder it is going to be convince congress or white house to do anything. >> paul: congress will want to take the money and spend it on something else. isn't it a step in the right direction, get rid of fannie mae and freddie mac and you have public risk, taxpayer risk and private profit. if he gets rid of it that is a step in the right direction? >> as the step in the right direction. but there are plih that you have a bill in the house and bill in the senate that are pushing in the same direction. i think what you saw from the president was an attempt to get in front of that, in
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caboose and he wants to get in the front of train. >> paul: do you see any problem with this proposal? are we finally moving in the right direction on what has been frankly since the crisis a nationalized housing market? >> it's the right direction. there is a problem. the difference between the house which gets rid of fannie mae and freddie mac and doesn't replace them with anything except a free market. the plan mr. obama is backing still has taxpayers on the hook. big step forward is thestors tae first loss. >> paul: in the senate bill? >> in the senate bill which the president has now endorsed this week. there is some room for taxpayers but under the president's plan but clearly, yes, a step in the right direction. >> the taxpayers will be at risk in either plan. house bill gets rid of
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fannie mae and freddie mac but it leaves something called the federal housing association in place, fha, and it is broke as of today. the house goes a long way to reform the institution. when you put the government behind the mortgage market, even if you are partying it back it has a habit biting you back. >> paul: the housing market has started to come back. prices are up about 12% according to case schiller in major areas. investment is growing in double-digits, is that an opening politically to get this done in congress where you can get rid of fannie mae and freddie mac? >> i think may be the only window where you have a housing market that is coming back to the extent that politicians are not
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afraid to make a change. you have memories fresh enough from the financial crisis that people still remember why we need to get rid of these mortgage monsters that requi huge taxpayer bailouts. obviously if last year's election had gone differently, final bill may have been different. this is the opportunity you had to be encouraged to see president's remarks this week. >> paul: the housing builders and real stores and housing industry complex is very influential and wants to retain these federal guarantees? >> and they have influence over both parties and this president. in the speech you heard conflicting goals. private investors in the mortgage market not taxpayers but in the very same speech he said, but we have to make sure that first time home buyers have the opportunity to buy homes. we need the 30-year
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mortgage. you know what, we'll see what comes out of it. >> paul: it's not perfect. when we come back, hits and misses of the week. ♪ good job! still running in the morning? yeah. getting your vegetables every day? when i can. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. two full servings of vegetables for only 50 delicious calories. first wait till summer. then get the cars ready. now add the dodge part. ♪
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♪ ♪ >> paul: time for the ever popular hits and misses of the week, james? >> paul this is miss to actor matt damon who set a record in the an yals of hollywood had i pock create. he is pre-eminent celebrity blow hard in fighting against reform of public education and lauding the benefits of the public educational system in this country. we learn he is sending his children to private schools. he says it's because public schools are not progressive enough. amazing, but not so amazing we see this out of
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hollywood. >> paul: matt is invited on this show any time he wants. >> really big miss, alex rodriguez the only baseball to appeal his suspension for using performance enhancing drugs. ego is not a problem if ethics are. it's all about a-rod, never mind the reputation of the game. >> paul: spoken like a non-yankees fan. >> i think a hit goes to jeff bezos the super billionaire for purchasing the "washington post" as he did this week for a song, $250 million. it shows that he has faith in content faith in a great brand and great title. maybe he can provide the innovation to renew this paper. >> paul: remember, if you have your own hit or miss, please them to us and be
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sure to follow us on twitter. that is it for this week's show. thanks to my panel and all watching. i'm paul gigot. hope to see you right here next week. >> on fox news watch.... >> this is an overreaction to benghazi. >> one thing i've tried to do as president is not over react. >> president obama makes a post prime time appearance commenting on key issues and terrorist threats face ourg nation. was this right venue to make news. "washington post" gets bought by amazon billionaire jeff bezos. how did the read yeah react to the news. what would it mean to the future of the newspaper business. >> we have a republican chairman understandably miffed. >> folks are against